Robert Marzano,Connie West

Examining Similarities & Differences

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Do your students know how to make meaningful comparisons?

Academic standards call for increased rigor, but simply raising complexity is not enough. Students must also be able to examine similarities and differences within the critical content they are learning. They need to know how to use comparisons, classifications, metaphors, and analogies to generalize, draw conclusions, and refine schema, ultimately deepening their understanding of the content.

Based on the earlier work of Dr. Robert J. Marzano, Examining Similarities & Differences: Classroom Techniques to Help Students Deepen Their Understanding explores explicit techniques for mastering a crucial strategy of instructional practice: teaching students to examine similarities and differences. It includes:

• Explicit steps for implementation
• Recommendations for monitoring if students are able to autonomously examine similarities and differences
• Adaptations for students who struggle, have special needs, or excel in learning
• Examples and non-examples from classroom practice
• Common mistakes and ways to avoid them

The Essentials for Achieving Rigor series of instructional guides helps educators become highly skilled at implementing, monitoring, and adapting instruction. Put it to practical use immediately, adopting day-to-day examples as models for application in your own classroom.
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171 printed pages
Original publication


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